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Do I need the State Library's, as well as the copyright owner's permission?

Without the State Library’s permission

If you make your own copy of items from the State Library's collections without seeking any additional permission from us as may be required, you accept the responsibility to make sure you do not infringe copyright or moral rights.

With the State Library’s permission

If you ask the library to do the copying for you, you will be asked to make a declaration that confirms that either the permission of the copyright owner has been obtained or no such permission is necessary (for instance because an exception applies).

In contrast, some collection items may have access restrictions that require permission from the library before you copy or re-use them. This permission does not relate to any copyright in the item but relates to collection management issues, such as ensuring that fragile items are handled with care and that the library is properly attributed for certain public uses.

How do I seek permission to publish?

Fill in the Quote to copy or permission to publish form.

You might also want to check the cost for collection copies.

When you ask us for permission to copy or re-use material, we will tell you whether copyright or any other restrictions apply.

Why seek permission to publish?

The State Library asks you to seek this permission for two reasons:

  • State Library staff need to check whether any special restrictions apply to the works. A special restriction may apply, for example, because the library agreed to a request by a collection donor that they retain control of the work's use for a certain period, even though they may not own the copyright in the works they donated, or copyright has expired. These restrictions are often requested because the material contains private or sensitive information.
  • State Library staff seek your agreement to cite the creator and title of the rare or unique work you are re-using and to acknowledge the State Library as the owner. That way, anyone who comes across your reproduction can trace the material back to the State Library's collection.

Rare or unique works are often fragile or valuable so can only be copied by our staff on your behalf.

Copying and re-using works with INDIGENOUS cultural content

Although copyright law applies to Indigenous works in the same way as it applies to other works, Indigenous works may have additional legal and cultural issues, for instance, because they include secret or sacred information or information obtained without the consent of the relevant Indigenous people. As such, the library has developed policies for its Indigenous collections.

One of these policies is that you may be required to seek cultural clearances from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, families, individuals or organisations before you access or reproduce some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material. Should cultural clearances be required, the State Library will assist you to understand the process involved in meeting your obligations to consult with Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

For more information view our Indigenous collection services.

Copying and re-using digitised material from the State Library’s websites

Digitising does not change the copyright status of the material. When a public domain photograph is digitised, the digital version is also in the public domain. The digitised version of an in-copyright work has the same duration of copyright as the original. 

You will find digital copies of items from the library's collections, such as photographs, diaries, letters or recorded interviews on the State Library's websites. Where this material is out of copyright it may be freely used provided the library and the creator are acknowledged; however, the State Library does not endorse any inappropriate or derogatory use.  

Use of digital copies of in-copyright material may require a request for permission unless your use falls within one of the exceptions, such as research or study. The need to request permission will usually be stated on the State Library's websites in association with the digital copy.

You need to ask the State Library's permission because a copyright owner may have allowed us to put a copy on our website but not allowed us to authorise uses beyond research or study. In other cases, the State Library may have put the digital copy online using one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cwlth) that apply to libraries. These exceptions are not transferable to the public.